Ayatana residents in Philippe Lake

Ayatana residents canoeing in Gatineau Park

Ayatana residents wading through the Lusk Cave

Boat builder Denis Tremblay invites Ayatana residents aboard
his live in pirate ship made of reclaimed materials.

devonAyatana Residents sailing the Ottawa River with captain Devon Bartley

Ayatana residents explore with marine biologist Matthew Gregoir

Ayatana residents visit Melanie Hopkins on the Chrisalis II

Residents observe an active beaver lodge in Gatineau Park


















































September 2018
We are accepting applications to fill a single place in this program.

Submerge is a research residency for visiting writers and conceptual artists to study human relationships with water. It will take place over a week at the confluence of the Gatineau, Ottawa and Rideau Rivers, in Canada in the summer of 2018. The residency involves daily excursions onto water with a variety of experts like river keepers, scientists and sailors. The program will include journeys on several different kinds of boats on several different bodies of water. Residents will gain a rudimentary understanding of natural water systems, urban water treatment and wetland wildlife.

Ayatana residencies focus on research by visual and conceptual artists. Submerge facilitates experiences particularly suited to writers and is designed to offer a nourishing context for thinkers to explore concepts for creative projects. Artists, musicians and dancers are invited to apply. This residency will host five or six selected international artists. This action packed research residency leaves little time free for making art, so brainstorming ideas at the conceptualization stage is encouraged at all times.

We are looking for artists who are comfortable spontaneously developing early-stage ideas in a small group. The workshops will inform the development of new artistic projects in a friendly and adventurous context.


All activities are subject to change depending on ecological conditions, expert availability and other uncontrollable variables. Outings will go ahead rain or shine.  All outings are designed for beginners. No boating or science experience is necessary.  Hikes will not be strenuous. 

Artist talk: We invite you to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Canoe the length of Lake Philippe. Residents will have a lesson in a canoe and will get to know each other during an afternoon canoe trip in Gatineau Park.

Spelunk the Lusk Cave. The Lusk cave is a 500 meter long marble cave carved by a warm stream that continues to run through it. Residents will have the opportunity to wade through the cave. It is mostly knee deep but at one point we will have to hold our breaths and swim underwater for a few feet.

Visit the studio of a local boat builder.
Denis Trembly builds house boats from reclaimed materials.

Tour a working hydro electric dam.
A behind the scenes look at the Farmer Rapids Dam.

Visit a steam paddle boat on the Gatineau River.
One of only 3 working steam paddle boats in Canada.

Hydrology and biogeosciences
Visit the Water and Ice Research Lab at Carelton U.

Water inside the human body
Learn about molecular imaging at the Biomolecular lab at Ottawa U

Introduction to dowsing workshop
Learn to find water with the Ottawa Dowsing Club.

Visit a sunken ship and explore a drain.

Sail the Ottawa River on a 29 foot sailboat.
Learn about aquatic navigation.

Visit a series of local waterfalls, weirs and a covered bridge.

White water raft the Ottawa River.
(Residents who do not want to do this will be dropped off at the water spa.)

River Keeper
Explore the Gationeau river with the River Keeper to learn about the Ottawa water shed.


Residents will be picked up in Ottawa, Canada and driven to the Ayatana Residency House, near the small town of Chelsea, Quebec. This culturally vibrant town, surrounded by the Gatineau Hills is nestled between Gatineau National Park and the Gatineau River.


$1200 USD
Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invites will be given to accepted applicants to help in the procuration of grants and funding.


What is included:
All activities.
Transportation to all activities.
Supplies, equipment and technical gear.
A comfortable bed in the Ayatana residency house.
Most meals will be provided, cooked by our resident chef. *Residents will be responsible for paying for their own meals from restaurants, which will happen 2 or 3 times during the week.


How to apply 
Send the following material to
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 images, files or links

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.


Disclaimer: Those who do not like the outdoors or to talk about art, need not apply.

Friend us on face book for future calls for applications and posts about art and science fb

See photos of previous Ayatana water residencies here:

Submerge 2017

Quench 2016